Sunday, 25 November 2012


Towards a 3D Theatre: 
Researching the use of 3D Technology and Motion Capture in Dramatic Theatre

These last two weeks (from the 12 to the 23th of November 2012) I have been working in the Mixed Reality Performance Lab researching on the use of 3D Motion Capture and Technology in Dramatic Theatre. The workshop was part of  Gorken Acaroglu's PHD, the director of the research.

We were looking at different points in relation with avatars, set, costumes, etc and we ended up finding out several ideas and concepts that work in this type of theatre and that also could be more explored in future workshops.

In order to look and research on the interrelationship between avatars, technology and dramatic theatre we were working on the play 'Ghosts' by Henry Ibsen, because its well known reputation and universal acceptance as being one of the most important pieces of 'dramatic theatre'.

During the first week we were interested in exploring different ways of interaction and relationship between actors, characters, avatars. We also worked on using the set as an alive entity. We created a house that breathed and changed size depending on the actor interaction and we discover how the environment, the set, could be used in 3D Theatre as another character that not only reacts to the avatar or characters interaction but also could become a metaphor or inner feelings or emotional processes. For instance, we discover that the house could be made by modules that the actor could manipulate. We also found that in changing size or dismantling  the house in pieces we could reinforce dramatic ideas in the play such as anxiety, fear, contractions, anger, or revealing the truth.

We didn't have much time to keep exploring these set-entity existence, but it is something that captured our minds and we will take it into account for the set design and in future workshops.

We also identified elements such as particle systems that were very helpful when creating the atmosphere of different seasons, such for example snow, and whc could be used also for creating empathy and atmosphere and enforce meaning if there was a final show of the dramatic piece.

During this first week we also explore the possibilities that kinect offers us in contrast with Motion Builder. We found out as well the limitations of using the mock-up suit, or what we called the pin-ball suit and how these limitation affect the interaction or the use of actors-avatar-characters in the play. 

We also experiment with different ideas with the make up, such as utilize powder and/or make up to pale the skin and project visual and pictures or even animation on the skin in order to blend the real and virtual world. In fact the idea of blending both worlds is being present all time during these two weeks period and it is something that we believe we can achieve through different media such as: character costumes and make up, set designed and avatar-character-pupeteer relationship.

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